Like what I hope and pray are most people, I mourned the five slain police officers in Dallas, every bit as much as I mourned the two slain young African-American men in Minneapolis and New Orleans days earlier. Every bit as much as I have mourned every victim of every senseless gun-violence tragedy that has occurred in the nearly eight years since the nation decided to elected its first African-American President.
There, I did it. I acknowledged the 800-pound gorilla in the nation's living room. Then again, how could I avoid it. We now have conservatives openly blaming the violence on Barack Obama's Presidency. In one sense, it's the most astonishing confession I've ever heard. "He did it! He should have known how much taking orders from an [N-word] would anger us! If it hadn't been for that, we wouldn't have had to make it so easy to shoot his own kind! And his supporters among our own kind!" (See, e.g: Giffords, Gabby.)
More about this in a moment.
So, while I mourned all of the victims (and I haven't named any only because there are simply too many to name, and it's overwhelming enough writing this post as it is), I'm not surprised about the news from Dallas.
Let me be very clear about what I am saying. Blue lives = black lives = all lives. None of these deaths are justifiable. All of them are unjustified taking of precious lives. All of them diminish our collective lives and our fundamental humanity.
But it is a fundamental lesson of human history that, if one segment of society has declared war on another, it is only a matter of time before the other segment becomes desperate enough to fight back. And that is all the more so if a member of the other segment has been trained by our government to kill and our government has done little or nothing to re-acclimate that member to civilian life. (Memo to conservatives: wars have consequences, even when they're over.)
That's not me fomenting violence. That's me describing reality.
So that's why I, believe it or not, do not think the New York Post was out of line with this. I'm sure they're ascribing blame to the wrong aggressor. But they're otherwise right. Extremely right, just like the NRA, which will defend to its last breath the rights of gun manufacturers to make profits. Just like Cleveland during the Republican National Convention, where toy guns will be banned but real guns will be just fine. And just like this idiot, who loves gun rights more than he loved his son and the future his son might have had, but for his violent narcissism.
What is it about guns in America in the first place? If this is really all about the Second Amendment, then maybe we need to understand its history, which is after all our history. And that history does not say that the Second Amendment was created to guarantee an individual right for everyone to bear arms at all times. Nor does it give much cover to the idea that it was created to facilitate state militias.
What it does support is the view that it was created to keep slaves in line. That's right. Racism is embedded in our history of so-called gun rights. It's always been about keeping them in line. That explains the lack of objections from white America to gun violence. Except when they're the victims. And, most of the time, they are not the victims.
Thank G-d that people are finally waking up to this. The majority of us. Our courts. Even Newt Gingrich, for crying out loud.
I pray it's enough to prevent any more senseless victims. White, black, blue or otherwise.